Terrafirma shocks Ginebra to re-enter PBA winning column

Juami Tiongson was unstoppable against the Gin Kings. (PBA)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Terrafirma Dyip stunned the powerhouse Barangay Ginebra San Miguel squad, 91-85, during their PBA Philippine Cup duel on April 7, 2024, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Longing for a bounce-back win after a close loss against the Meralco Bolts, Terrafirma immediately pounced on Ginebra to build an early lead in the opening quarter.

Banking on the hot hands of Juami Tiongson in the first half, Terrafirma maintained its offensive pace and didn’t let their lead slip away to carry the same momentum in the second half.

Despite Ginebra roaring back in the third courtesy of the 1-2 punch of Japeth Aguilar and Sidney Onwubere, Tiongson, Javi Gomez de Liaño, and Isaac Go countered back with a much-needed scoring answer that maintained their cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

It was in the final 12 minutes of the game that de Liaño torched the Gin Kings. After knocking down a three-pointer that increased their lead, the former PBA lottery pick followed it up with a huge stepback shot from the perimeter that put the crowd on their feet.

Tiongson then put on the finishing touches in the fourth after knocking down several crucial shots that extended Terrafirma’s cushion to 12 points with only 1:21 remaining in the game.

However, Ginebra’s never-say-die attitude rose to the occasion once again as they were able to trim their deficit to just a single digit.

After head coach Tim Cone deployed a full-court defensive pressure, Ginebra started to score in spurts and were only down by six points in the last 20 seconds of the game.

Unfortunately for Ginebra, time wasn’t on their side as Terrafirma just ran the clock out to secure the much-needed victory.

Tiongson top-scored the Dyip squad with a game-high 25-point performance alongside four rebounds and four assists while de Liaño added 22 markers.

Terrafirma will look to sustain its momentum on April 10, 2024, as they face the mighty San Miguel Beermen squad in the first game of the doubleheader schedule.